Sunday, March 19, 2017

JURIST - Self-Defense Against Terrorists: How Long and How Far?




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Self-Defense Against Terrorists: How Long and How Far?
Saturday 11 March 2017 at 7:43 PM ETedited by Yuxin Jiang

JURIST Guest Columnist Laurie Blank, Emory Law School, discusses the recent airstrikes against al Qaeda targets in Yemen, and how self-defense raises questions in US response against al Qaeda...


Last week's sustained campaign of airstrikes against al Qaeda targets in Yemen brought the conflict with al Qaeda to the forefront of our attention, after a few years of heavy media concentration on the US and coalition fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. It thus served as a reminder that the US campaign against al Qaeda and affiliates — often termed "associated forces" — is now in its sixteenth year and does not appear to be ending anytime soon.

In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, the US responded in self-defense against al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan and since then has used force against al Qaeda and several affiliated groups from Pakistan to Yemen to Syria to Somalia and beyond. The passage of time alone raises a critically important question: how long does self-defense last? And as the US has shifted its stated objective from preventing future attacks to "ensuring the lasting defeat of al Qaeda and violent extremist affiliates," a second essential question is how far can a state go — both in the geographic sense and in the sense of the legitimate aims of using force — when acting in self defense?

These questions are essential for effective legal analysis of US actions against al Qaeda or other terrorist groups. Most discussions of self-defense under international law focus on the right to use force at the initiation of action in self-defense — based on the existence of an armed attack or imminent armed attack and the necessity and proportionality of the force used to deter or repel the attack. At some point, however, sixteen years and thousands of miles from the initial trigger for self-defense authority, it is clear that we must transition from whether there is a right to act in self-defense to what is the extent of the right to act in self-defense.

As I analyze in greater depth here, examining the extent of self-defense raises three categories of questions. First, what are the legitimate aims of self-defense against terrorist groups and how do such aims affect our understanding and application of necessity and proportionality? Second, if the campaign against a terrorist group is an armed conflict, how does that change our assessment of self-defense or the legitimate parameters of action against that group? And third, how does a state's initial success against a terrorist group affect the application of necessity and proportionality in the self-defense analysis?

Traditionally, the international law of self-defense recognizes the right of states to use force to deter or repel an attack — and the force used must be necessary to achieve that purpose and proportionate, in degree or amount of force, to that goal. The foundational self-defense criteria of necessity and proportionality thus require that any assessment of self-defense must start with the victim state's aim or objective in using force in response to an armed attack or imminent armed attack.

In the counterterrorism arena, however, using the traditional notion of "deterring" or "repelling" an attack as the legitimate aim of self-defense is significantly more complicated. Terrorist attacks tend to be singular events causing mass civilian casualties rather than military operations to gain territory or achieve other conventional strategic objectives, such that the very idea of halting or repelling an attack does not translate well into the counterterrorism scenario, where targets are unknown and the terrorists may be gone long before the attack itself takes place. Most states therefore justify the use of force in self-defense against terrorist groups as action taken to prevent future attacks. Although preventing future attacks makes sense, it can have very different operational meanings: it could be limited to action to stop specific terrorists in the last window of opportunity before an attack or it could include action to destroy the terrorist cell or group entirely.

This lack of clarity hampers the legal analysis. One could argue that only preventing an immediate future attack is a legitimate aim of self-defense. Or one could argue that broader action to defeat the terrorist group is a question of proportionality and how elastic the degree of force allowed can be for achieving the traditional objective of deterring or repelling an attack. Finally, one might contend that the destruction of the terrorist group's capability is a legitimate objective of self-defense itself. The extent of self-defense — how much force the state can use and for how long — varies significantly depending on which of these interpretations one applies.

Second, the US has consistently framed its campaign against al Qaeda and affiliated terrorist groups as an armed conflict. At the most basic level, the armed conflict paradigm raises the question of whether victory in war supplants self-defense against an attack or imminent armed attack as the analytical structure for assessing the lawfulness of state action. That is, the key issue is whether the characterization as armed conflict removes the necessity and proportionality criteria from consideration and leaves the extent of self-defense — how much force against which groups and for how long — to be determined solely by the idea of victory in war.

The challenge, of course, is that no one seems to know what winning looks like against a terrorist group. Without tools for identifying when a conflict ends or, in effect, victory is achieved, it is difficult to delineate metrics for when a state has exceeded the parameters for the use of force against a terrorist group. Indeed, allowing a state to characterize operations against an armed conflict can potentially give that state carte blanche to set perpetually expanding aims in self-defense, a highly problematic scenario. Given the uncertainties, it would be wise to consider if and how necessity and proportionality can continue to play a role in assessing the reasonableness of the use and extent of the use of force, thus helping to maintain the balance between sovereignty, territorial integrity and order in the international system, and the state's inherent right of self-defense.

Finally, several questions arise from the shifting nature of a terrorist group and military operations against it as the state enjoys initial success in its forceful responses to the terrorist group's attacks or series of attacks. As a state takes forceful action, the terrorist group's ability to launch attacks will likely diminish, at least temporarily. As the threat of future attacks lessens, an assessment of the classic criteria of necessity and proportionality correspondingly changes — the necessity for action has lessened and the amount of force needed to attain the objective is lower — suggesting that the scope of self-defense is thus narrower. Operationally, however, this approach is counterintuitive. If initial success means a state has less room for maneuver, then the terrorist group has more space to reconstitute and launch attacks, thus re-triggering the state's right to act in self-defense. The result is a circular argument and legal framework divorced from the operational reality of how states respond to threats.

Ultimately, therefore, it is essential to examine how initial success and the responsive acts or maneuvers of a terrorist group affect how we consider the extent of self-defense against terrorist groups. Three features of contemporary counterterrorism are of particular interest here: terrorist groups finding safe haven in another state; terrorist groups splintering or reconstituting as one or more new or related groups; and attacks or propaganda inspiring the creation of new groups or vows of allegiance from other existing groups. The first expands the geographic range of self-defense and the latter two expand or potentially expand the spectrum of groups against whom the state proposes to use force in self-defense. In other words, initial success and its resulting effects have significant consequences for the reach of self-defense--both whom the state can use force against and where it can do so.

The discourse over the past sixteen years has focused on whether and when a state can use force in self-defense against a non-state group, the classic questions surrounding the initiation of the right of self-defense. It is now essential to develop sophisticated tools for understanding and assessing the extent of self-defense to avoid significant gaps in the ability of international law to guide and regulate the long-term use of force against terrorist groups.

Laurie Blank is a Clinical Professor of Law and Director of the International Humanitarian Law Clinic at Emory University School of Law..

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JURIST - President Trump's Revised Travel Ban: The Underlying Problem of Religious Discrimination Remains





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In effort to stave off legal challenges to his initial Executive Order (EO) banning travel by nationals of seven predominantly Muslim-majority countries, President Donald J. Trump issued a revised EO that addresses several shortcomings. Yet, the new EO, issued on March 6, 2017, remains fundamentally flawed because it perpetuates the central constitutional infirmity: discrimination on the basis of religion in violation of the Establishment Clause.

Trump issued the original EO, entitled "Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States," on January 27, 2017. (The revised EO bears the same title). The original order caused widespread chaos and unwarranted hardship for noncitizens traveling to the United States, including refugees and legal permanent residents. The EO sparked legal challenges by individuals and by several states, nearly all of which resulted in judicial rulings invalidating key portions of the order. Most notably, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington blocked enforcement nationwide of the EO's provisions temporarily suspending entry of noncitizens from the seven identified countries and temporarily suspending the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program. In a unanimous decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit denied the Trump administration's motion for an emergency stay of the district court's order pending appeal.

The Trump administration's decision to issue a revised EO represents a concession of the first order's legal indefensibility. The revised EO addresses several flaws, including excluding application of the travel ban to lawful permanent residents. It also does not apply to foreign nationals with valid visas or refugees whose travel to the U.S. has previously been scheduled with the State Department. Those provisions, coupled with the 10-day delay in implementation, are designed to avoid a repeat of the mass chaos that accompanied the first EO.

But the immigration ban continues to target six nations that are more than 90 percent Muslim: Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, Syria and Yemen The EO's sole changes in this regard are to make the ban on Syrian nationals temporary and to exclude Iraqi nationals, purportedly based on increased cooperation from Iraq, but more likely based on political and diplomatic pressure from Iraq and internally from within the Trump administration. Additionally, the revised EO maintains the temporary suspension of refugee admissions and the 50,000 cap on refugees for 2017 once the program resumes (thus cutting the current total in half).

The order also poses new concerns, including by requiring relevant federal agencies to collect and publish information about convictions of terrorism-related offenses, government charges of terrorism, and gender-based violence against women committed by foreign nationals, while containing no corresponding publication requirement for U.S. citizens. This provision discriminates based on national origin and is likely to inflame bias against noncitizens by deliberately misrepresenting to the public that they alone—and not U.S. citizens—are responsible for terrorist activity. Indeed, the Trump administration could seek to use this information to lay the groundwork for further bans or restrictions on immigration.

The Constitution's Establishment Clause prohibits discrimination by the government based on religion, including giving preference to one religious denomination over another. Like the original order, the revised order continues to discriminate both in its purpose and effect by maintaining the ban on countries that are overwhelming Muslim. The ban need not include all Muslim-majority countries; as long as religious discrimination is a motivating factor, it may run afoul of the Establishment Clause.

The Trump administration, to be sure, will defend the revised EO by claiming that religion is not the motivating factor and that the ban on immigration from the six countries is based on national security considerations. Further, the administration will likely point to the revised EO's elimination of any preference for religious minorities.

But context is crucial, and nothing in the new order is sufficient to overcome the evidence of discriminatory purpose surrounding the original order. That evidence includes multiple statements by Trump indicating his wish to restrict immigration of Muslims to the United States as well as a statement by Trump's close advisor, former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani, that Trump was looking for a way to make a Muslim ban legal.

Further, despite the more restrained rollout that accompanied the new EO, the discriminatory intentions of Trump and several key advisors continue are still evident. For example, White House adviser Stephen Miller noted that any changes to the first executive order would be "mostly minor, technical differences," and that "[f]undamentally, you are still going to have the same, basic policy outcomes for the country."

Additionally, evidence continues to show that the Trump administration's purported security concerns are merely a misguided attempt to use territory as a proxy for religion. A Department of Homeland Security report recently found "country of citizenship is unlikely to be a reliable indicator of potential terrorist activity" and that "few of the impacted countries [under the executive order] have terrorist groups that threaten the West."

Previously, Judge Leonie Brinkema of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia held in Aziz v. Trump [PDF] that the travel ban in the original EO was adopted for the constitutionally impermissible purpose of discriminating against Muslims. Applying the Supreme Court's decision in McCreary County v. ACLU—where the court looked at the history of events surrounding the visible display of the Ten Commandments in Kentucky courthouses—Judge Brinkema concluded that the EO was the outgrowth of Trump's previously promised Muslim ban.

The revised EO is best understood as another step by the Trump administration in its efforts to achieve this goal. It seeks to clean up some glaring instances of executive overreach to defeat legal challenges, while keeping the underlying policy of discriminating against Muslims intact.

The first EO may have made an easier target, given the disorder it unleashed and its inclusion of legal permanent residents. But none of the Trump administration's tinkering to the revised EO repairs its fatal flaw.


Jonathan Hafetz is Professor of Law at Seton Hall University School of Law. He has served as counsel for amici curiae in legal challenges to President Trump's travel ban executive orders.

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JURIST - Arizona’s Death Penalty Procedures & Professional Ethics





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Jjust recently, it has come to light that the State of Arizona has put forward a new death penalty plan given the lack of availability of anesthetics and sedatives previously used in the death chamber, namely, Pentobarbital and Sodium Pentothal. The plan being put forward is a provision that puts the onus on a death row inmates’ lawyer to provide the drugs so the State can follow through with the planned death penalty. To say that this plan throws some ethical issues in the face of those lawyers would be a great understatement.

One of the main duties of any lawyer is to act in the clients’ best interests and in accordance with their instructions. Here we have a situation where Arizona is attempting to put a duty on a lawyer to act in the state’s best interests and per their instructions rather than the clients. This flies in the face of the duties of a lawyer to their client. This is before we even take into account the fact that it is against Federal law in the US to import these drugs. It should be noted that a lawyer is bound to not assist or take part in criminal conduct with their client but here, Arizona expects a lawyer to commit a criminal act for the State so that they can execute their client? One could say that the plan is rather nonsensical when compared with a lawyers professional responsibilities. Not to mention the fact that committing a criminal act can be seen to indicate that the lawyer is not fit to practice and can amount to professional misconduct.

In addition to working in their clients best interests, it is also a professional conduct rule that lawyers must work with diligence in representing their client and with dedication and commitment to the interests of the client. I don’t think anyone could argue that assisting the state to execute your client, assuming that it is against their wishes of course, is hardly working in an effort to seek the best results for their client with the dedication and commitment that a lawyer is bound to put into their work.

We could also turn our mind to the matter of professional ethics which stipulates that a lawyer must act independently and impartially in providing legal services but the plan being put forward is essentially asking the lawyer to be a slave to the aims of government and hammer their client to the stake, so to speak. Further, when acting with this independence the lawyer is given the right to refer to considerations such as moral, social and political factors in addition to matters of law. So in the few US jurisdictions that allow voluntary euthanasia, a doctor cannot administer end-of-life drugs to a terminally ill person because this goes against a doctors ethics, otherwise when voluntary euthanasia legislation is discussed in jurisdictions that are debating whether to implement this kind of legislation all we ever hear is “How can this fit with the ethics of being a doctor?”. Never mind that though, it is perfectly fine for a lawyer to buy end-of-life drugs for someone who is not choosing to die, when there is a likelihood that they do the work that they do with death row inmates because they are not in favour of the death penalty for their clients.

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"When the United States ratifies a treaty, it not only makes the US a party to that treaty; it also becomes US domestic law under the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution, which says treaties "shall be the supreme law of the land." Courts have a duty to restrain federal executive action that conflicts with a ratified treaty. Customary international law develops from the general and consistent practice of states. It is part of federal common law and must be enforced in US courts, whether or not its provisions are contained in a ratified treaty."





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Evaluate New Travel Ban in Light of International Law
Thursday 16 March 2017 at 1:05 PM ETedited by Joseph Macklin

JURIST Contributing Editor Marjorie Cohn, Professor Emerita at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, discusses the constitutional violations resulting from the executive order banning nationals from six Muslim-majority countries...


\After a federal district court [PDF] judge and a unanimous three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled [PDF] that Donald Trump's Executive Order (EO) instituting a travel ban was likely illegal, the president suspended it and issued a new EO on March 6, 2017.

On March 15, a federal judge granted a temporary restraining order in Hawaii v. Trump et al., halting the operation of the new EO nationwide. US District Judge Derrick K. Watson found that plaintiffs met their burden of establishing a strong likelihood of success on the merits of their Establishment Clause claim, that irreparable injury is likely if the requested relief is not issued, and that the balance of the equities and public interest counsel in favor of granting the requested relief.

When the case is heard on the merits, the legality of the new EO, which categorically suspends immigration from six Muslim majority countries to the United States, should be assessed in light of US treaty and customary international law, according to an amicus brief filed in the case.

Eighty-one international law scholars, including this writer, and a dozen non-governmental organizations with expertise in civil rights law, immigration law or international human rights law (amici) argue in their amicus brief that the new EO threatens discrimination that would run afoul of two treaties. They are the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights [PDF] (CCPR) and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination [PDF] (CERD).

When the United States ratifies a treaty, it not only makes the US a party to that treaty; it also becomes US domestic law under the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution, which says treaties "shall be the supreme law of the land." Courts have a duty to restrain federal executive action that conflicts with a ratified treaty.

Customary international law develops from the general and consistent practice of states. It is part of federal common law and must be enforced in US courts, whether or not its provisions are contained in a ratified treaty.

Under the Constitution's Take Care Clause, the President must "take care that the laws be faithfully executed." This means Trump has a constitutional duty to comply with our legal obligations under both treaty and customary international law.

"[T]he Immigration and Nationality Act and other statutes must be read in harmony with these international legal obligations pursuant to the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution and long established principles of statutory construction requiring acts of Congress to be interpreted in a manner consistent with international law, whenever such a construction is reasonably possible," amici argue. "In this case, the international law obligations . . . reinforce interpretations of those statutes forbidding discrimination of the type threatened by Sections 2 and 11 of the EO."

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

The United States ratified the CCPR in 1992. Article 2 prohibits "any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference" based on religion or national origin, which has "the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise by all persons, on an equal footing," according to the United Nation Human Rights Committee (HRC), the body charged with monitoring implementation of the CCPR.

Article 2 prohibits discrimination against the family as well as individuals. "The family is the natural and fundamental group of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State," Article 23 says. The HRC has opined that states have an obligation to adopt appropriate measures "to ensure the unity or reunification of families, particularly when their members are separated for political, economic and similar reasons."

Many immigrants and refugees flee their countries of origin and come to the United States to reunify with their families. The CCPR protects them against discrimination based on religion or national origin.

Amici state in their brief, "Restrictions on travel and entry caused by the EO that impose disparate and unreasonable burdens on the exercise of this right violate CCPR article 2." According to the HRC, although the CCPR does not generally "recognize a right of aliens to enter or reside in the territory of a State party . . . , in certain circumstances an alien may enjoy the protection of the Covenant even in relation to entry or residence, for example, when considerations of non-discrimination, prohibition of inhuman treatment and respect for family life arise."

Thus the non-discrimination mandates and protection of family life in the CCPR "should be considered by courts in interpreting government measures affecting family unification," the brief says.

Article 26 prohibits religious and national origin discrimination and guarantees equal protection in any government measure. These provisions are not limited to individuals within the territory of the state party and subject to its jurisdiction. So immigrants need not be physically present in the United States to enjoy the protection of Article 26.

Moreover, the non-discrimination requirements enshrined in the CCPR also constitute customary international law. In 1948, the United States approved the Universal Declaration of Human Rights [PDF] (UDHR), which is part of customary international law. The UDHR forbids discrimination based on religion or national origin, guarantees equal protection of the law, and protects family life against arbitrary interference.

The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination

The United States ratified CERD in 1994. That treaty also prohibits discrimination based on religion or national origin. "Racial discrimination" includes any distinctions and restrictions based on national origin. Article 1 specifies that states can only adopt "nationality, citizenship or naturalization" policies that "do not discriminate against any particular nationality."

Like the CCPR, CERD does not limit its non-discrimination provisions to citizens or resident noncitizens. "While CERD does not speak specifically to restrictions on entry of nonresident aliens," the brief says, "the general language of CERD expresses a clear intention to eliminate discrimination based on race or national origin from all areas of government activity."

In Article 4, CERD provides that states parties "[s]hall not permit public authorities or public institutions, national or local, to promote or incite racial discrimination." This includes discrimination based on national origin. The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the body of independent experts that monitor the implementation of CERD, interprets Article 4 as requiring states to forbid speech that stigmatizes or stereotypes noncitizens, immigrants, refugees and those seeking asylum.

International Law Should be Considered in Evaluating the EO

"Those international law principles require courts to reject any attempt by the President to define classes based on national origin or religion, and then to impose on those classes disparate treatment, except to the extent necessary to achieve a legitimate government purpose," amici wrote.

Their brief continues, "The EO...makes an explicit distinction based on national origin that, unless necessary and narrowly tailored to achieve a legitimate government aim, would violate US obligations under international law."

In effect, the EO makes a distinction based on religion. All six of the listed countries have majority Muslim populations. As the brief says, "the EO does not suspend immigration from any state with a non-Muslim majority."

Amici also argue that international law is relevant to Section 11 of the EO, which requires the Secretary of Homeland Security to "collect and make publicly available" information relating to convictions of terrorism-related crimes, government charges of terrorism, and "gender-based violence against women" by foreign nationals. But the EO does not require publication of this information on US citizens.

"By mandating that the Secretary publish pejorative information about noncitizens without comparable information about US citizens," amici wrote, "Section 11 makes a suspect distinction based on national origin." Section 11 "may bear on the intent to discriminate, because the decision to publish derogatory information about noncitizens alone is stigmatizing, and appears to be motivated by a desire to characterize noncitizens as more prone to terrorism or gender-based violence than US citizens." Moreover, "a measure designed to stigmatize noncitizens cannot be proportionate and thus violates article 26 of the CCPR and articles 2 and 4 of the CERD."

Thus, amici "request that the Court consider US obligations under international law, which forms part of US law, in evaluating the legality of the EO."

Marjorie Cohn is professor emerita at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, former president of the National Lawyers Guild, and deputy secretary general of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers. Her most recent book is "Drones and Targeted Killing: Legal, Moral, and Geopolitical Issues." Visit her website at http://marjoriecohn.com/ and follow her on Twitter @MarjorieCohn.

Suggested citation:Marjorie Cohn, Evaluate New Travel Ban in Light of International Law, JURIST - Forum, Mar. 16, 2017, http://jurist.org/forum/2017/03/marjorie-cohn-international-law.php.


This article was prepared for publication by Joe Macklin, JURIST's Managing Editor. Please direct any questions or comments to her at commentary@jurist.org

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"So don’t deposit a check and wire money or send money back in any way. Banks must make funds from deposited checks available within days, but uncovering a fake check can take them weeks. If a check you deposit bounces – even after it seemed to clear – you’re responsible for repaying the bank. Money orders and cashier’s checks can be counterfeited, too."





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Don't bank on that check
March 17, 2017
by  Lisa Lake
Consumer Education Specialist, FTC


Scammers know how to design phony checks to make them look legitimate. In fact, the Council of Better Business Bureaus just released a list of the most “risky” scams, based on how likely people are to be targeted, how likely to lose money, and how much money they lost. Fake checks were number two.

Fake checks drive many types of scams – like those involving phony prize wins, fake jobs, mystery shoppers, online classified ad sales, and others. In a fake check scam, someone asks you to deposit a check – sometimes for several thousand dollars – and, when the funds seem to be available, wire the money to a third party. The scammers always have a good story to explain the overpayment – they’re stuck out of the country, they need you to cover taxes or fees, you’ll need to buy supplies, or something else. But when the bank discovers you’ve deposited a bad check, the scammer already has the money, and you’re stuck paying the money back to the bank.

So don’t deposit a check and wire money or send money back in any way. Banks must make funds from deposited checks available within days, but uncovering a fake check can take them weeks. If a check you deposit bounces – even after it seemed to clear – you’re responsible for repaying the bank. Money orders and cashier’s checks can be counterfeited, too.

Want to avoid the latest rip-offs? Sign up for free scam alerts from the FTC at ftc.gov/scams.

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Does the Minimum Wage Hurt Workers?

BBC Imagine: Who's Afraid of Machiavelli?

How America's justice system is rigged against the poor | Vox Voices

"Antonio Caprio, supreme court senior associate justice of the Philippines, said that while Benham Rise is not part of Philippine territory, it still has sovereign rights over the area, giving it privileges that are superior to those of other states."





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The Philippines’ claim to the area was validated by a 2012 UN commission looking into the Philippines’ territorial declarations.

“It is indisputable because no other country has an overlapping claim there,” foreign ministry spokesman Charles Jose said in a statement.

“So, as a country that exercises sovereign rights and jurisdiction, we are the only one that has a sole and exclusive right to explore and exploit the national resources in Benham Rise. It is our responsibility to protect it.”

Manila has lodged a formal diplomatic protest with Beijing over the issue, but China’s foreign ministry has publically refuted the Philippines’ claims, saying Friday that their ships were exercising “normal freedom of navigation and right of innocent passage”.

Antonio Caprio, supreme court senior associate justice of the Philippines, said that while Benham Rise is not part of Philippine territory, it still has “sovereign rights” over the area, giving it privileges that are superior to those of other states.

Benham Rise is not a part of the South China Sea, where the Philippines and China have also clashed over territorial claims.

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Saturday, March 18, 2017

SC seeks records of De Lima’s drug cases





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The Supreme Court (SC) yesterday sought all records of the drug trafficking cases filed against Sen. Leila de Lima.

In a resolution, the high court directed the Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court (RTC) as well as the Department of Justice (DOJ) to produce the records.

The Senate and the House of Representatives were also directed to produce the reports and records of the hearings concerning De Lima on the illegal drug trade at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).

The SC also sought the affidavits of witnesses and pleadings earlier filed by De Lima in the DOJ and the transcript of stenographic notes of the congressional hearings.

The SC also directed the parties to submit their reply to the petition filed by the senator before the Court of Appeals (CA).

De Lima sought to stop her indictment for drug trafficking. She was accused of receiving bribes from detained drug convicts at the NBP to finance her senatorial campaign.

The high tribunal ordered the camp of De Lima to submit as annex to her petition the “comprehensive compilation” of President Duterte’s attacks against her.

De Lima claimed she was politically persecuted for being the number one critic of the President.

“The foregoing documents shall be submitted to the Court not later than the Court’s office hours on March 17, 2017, Friday,” read the three-page notice signed by Clerk of Court Felipa Anama.

The high court issued the order to allow extensive resolution on the petition of De Lima seeking to stop her indictment for drug trafficking.

She was arrested last Feb. 24 and has been in detention at the custodial center of the Philippine National Police headquarters at Camp Crame.

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